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Business News of Wednesday, 5 September 2018


Back the promotion of local contents with law – Minister

For a comprehensive and adherence to strict rules on Local Content Policy (LCP), there is the need for the policy to be elevated to law status, the Minister of Works and Housing Samuel Atta Akyea has stated.

His call comes after findings on the misalignment and lack of cohesiveness among key shareholders concerning local content policy undermined implementation.

The Minister was speaking at an IMANI and BUSAC study on Ghana’s Local Content Policy themed; Is Ghana Ready for More Local Content? Lessons from Eight Comparator Countries in Five Economic Sectors.

The research revealed that in Ghana, several initiatives have been taken over the years to build essential capacity through local content requirements.

Also, recent times show that there has been a greater impulse to apply local content to several sectors of the economy through the use of distinct local content policies as pertains in the oil and gas industry.

However, draft local content policies have emerged for the downstream petroleum sector, construction as well as coastal and inland water shipping.

According to Mr. Atta Akyea, it’s time for policies that seek to promote the patronage of indigenous products to be converted into law for a broad perspective of local content.

“I am of the humble view that we should have an overhaul of the corpus of the laws for local content. I do not believe that we should just look at the oil and gas. Do we have a mother document which is of legislative consequences which gives us a broad outline of local content and then where it is situation specific we can extract legislative instrument from the statutory instrument,” he quizzed.

Although there’s an influx of several foreign products on the Ghanaian market, little or no effort has been made by successive governments to mitigate the worrying trend.

While local companies continue to struggle to meet international competition, Ghana continues to sign on to lots of trade liberalization agreements with even developed countries allowing foreign products to enter the market with little restriction.

The lack of coherence in policy implementation and harmonization among various regulatory institutions responsible for local content in a country contributes to inconsistency, unpredictability and reduced transparency which undermines implementation and affects investor confidence.

Hence, the Minister was of the view that when local content is passed into law it will enable transparency, flexibility, and good faith. This, according to him will improve steadiness and vibrancy in all sectors when standards, procedures and principles are set and followed.

He added, “So this is something we should look at. If not there will be a whole confusion as to what local content is by operation of law. I believe it shouldn’t be a policy, it should be elevated to law and that is when we have the consistency and the comprehension.”